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It’s Because I Plagiarized a Story . . .

July 8, 2012

By now you’ve all probably heard of the newest YouTube sensation that involves one previously unknown filmmaker from Oregon named Jeremiah McDonald who is interviewing his 12-year-old self on video.  (If not, you can watch it below.)

Yes, I know you’re laughing.  Yes, I know it’s funny.  Yes, I know you’re in love with him.

(1979-Angie, get it together already.  Wake up and get your damn finger out of your nose.  We’ve got to tell our story now — to allow us to heal.)

Well, those of you readers who have been with me for a while, my BFF-readers, might recall that way back — way back — way back before the invention of YouTube, way back to this past January, I had interviewed my own kidself.

In my case, I interviewed my four-year-old self — 1979-Angie.  (You can read it here.)

Yes, I know you’re not laughing like you laughed at 1992-Jeremiah.  Oh, you’re not laughing?  Not even at the eating-my-own-cherry-chapstick part?   Not even at the doo-doo-head Justin Bieber part?  Not even at the Mayor McCheese for President part?


Okay, so on the day of that interview, 1979-Angie was being her typical bratass self — but nonetheless relatively charming.  Not the kind of kid I’d take to Showbiz Pizza, not the kind of kid I’d help earn extra tokens for so she could purchase the extra-extra-large inflatable unicorn, but nonetheless the kind of kid I’d probably take to a mall playland and buy a Dilly Bar or something.

However, even 1979-Angie cannot compete with the charm of 1992-Jeremiah.

I have to admit that the kid is amazing.  I want to adopt him.  I want to take him to Disney World and let him eat funnel cakes until he pukes them up on the teacup ride.  And I wouldn’t even make him clean it up.  And, bonus, he’s being interviewed on video.  And, extra bonus, he appears to have ADD.  Which is adorable.  Always.

I think it’s appropriate I now interview 2012-Angie about this matter.

Am I implying that Jeremiah stole my schtick?  No.  Of course I’m not.  

I also once wrote about going to see Poltergeist at age 6.  Who didn’t see Poltergeist at age 6?  It was practically required viewing in our grade schools back then.  There are probably even people who saw Poltergeist at age 4.  There are probably even people who wrote about seeing Poltergeist at age 4.  And how can I compete with seeing Poltergeist at age 4 — for God’s sake I was 6!  I was practically smoking and living in my own apartment by age 6.

I would raise my glass of Tang to the person who now writes about seeing Poltergeist at age 4 and goes on to become a world-famous children’s horror film critic.

Am I bitter about Jeremiah’s fame?  Yes.  Of course I am.  1979-Angie can hardly stay focused enough to answer this.  But by the way she’s throwing her dress over her head so she can pull up her tights, I can tell she’s hurting too.

Am I mad that I didn’t cash-in on my own self-interview?  Yes.  Of course I am.

But you know who I’m really mad at?  Not Jeremiah.  No.  He’s brilliant.  The person I’m really mad at is 1982-Angie.

This is all her damn fault.  She once committed karma hari-kari, the little self-destructive booger-picking brat.

Because if you go way back among my original blog readership, you’d know that 1982-Angie plagiarized a story from Humpty Dumpty magazine and won it big in a writing contest.  (You can read it here.  Or don’t.  I come off looking really bad and you’ll probably hate me.)

She even got to represent her school in a city-wide writing workshop.

She even got to go meet famous children’s book author Ivy Ruckman.

She even got to bed that night after meeting famous children’s book author Ivy Ruckman without so much as a smidgen of guilt.

Yep, 1982-Angie slept like a baby that night.  Slept like a 2-ton log in fact.  Didn’t even toss around once among the 342 stuffed animals crammed in her bed.  Didn’t even wake to the sound of her brother’s Van Halen tape blaring from his room the next day.

That’s what I call an unflinching, guiltless conscience.  Not to mention, well-developed bladder control.

I’m thinking of sticking her hand in warm water tonight.

71 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2012 2:22 pm

    Yup we all did it. I did it when I was a kid, and then someone did it to me as an adult… and probably made money at it. I figure it was just that goddamn karma.

    • July 8, 2012 2:57 pm

      Funny that as adults we both recognize our tainted karma being involved here. Cripes, reading your post (hilarious, love the elephant story — love it so much I’m going to plagiarize it tomorrow) I am actually relieved that I wasn’t following your blog back in November. If I was, I’d worry that here I unintentionally plagiarized this very post you linked!

      It just goes to show you how unoriginal most of our ideas really are. But that Court TV thing? I’m with you. You totally got ripped off. Just for that, I’ll never bitch about not getting to watch that channel because I don’t have cable.

      • July 8, 2012 3:31 pm

        My husband likes all the dumb shows on TruTV…my punishment goes on and on… (and I mean having to sit through them.)

      • July 8, 2012 5:44 pm

        Yes, but at least you don’t have to sit through the now-defunct show you plugged. ;)

  2. July 8, 2012 2:47 pm

    I am familiar with “karma hari-kari” as I once won an art contest (photo in newspaper and everything) with a drawing my dad “touched up.” Haven’t had any confidence in my artistic pursuits since that day in 2nd grade. And yes, I’d be kicking myself for missing my Jeremiah moment – ugh! Let’s forgive our little selves and make something even better. Or hatch a diabolical plan to bring down our competition! Your posts are so much fun to read – thank you!

    • July 8, 2012 3:00 pm

      Ha! I love it! What a great story. I like the “let’s forgive our little selves and make something even better” part, but not as much as I like the “diabolical plan” part. I’m all for diabolical plans.

      And thanks for your kind words!

  3. July 8, 2012 4:39 pm

    Praise the lord there is no video of me as a youth.

    • July 8, 2012 5:42 pm

      Amen to that. I think the most I have in the Marcia Video Archives is some grainy footage of me acting in a couple of middle school and high school plays. I could probably convince someone that it wasn’t actually me.

  4. July 8, 2012 5:51 pm

    ADD is Adorable!? Yay! All those years of losing stuff and not knowing what the hell was going on was appealing? Was that mostly from the outside? Because from the inside it was more like running in a fog and crashing into walls and shit, and smiling nervously trying to pretend everything was okay. Hmm. Maybe Jeremiah has a special KIND of ADD with PERSONALITY. That must be it. 2012 Jeremiah is also entertaining and cute in an American Simon Pegg kind of way. Yowza.

    However, YOU win Personality Points galore with “Wake up and get your damn finger out of your nose. We’ve got to tell our story now — to allow us to heal.” and “Crapballs” and “But by the way she’s throwing her dress over her head so she can pull up her tights, I can tell she’s hurting too.”

    This is all out of proportion. Writing contest? in 1982? Karma, get over it. Angie’s suffered enough. Unless of course I am bringing some of that Karma doom on myself by saying so in which case I DIDN’T MEAN ANY OF IT, ARE YOU LISTENING?

    • July 10, 2012 10:28 am

      I say that ADD is definitely adorable — as adorable as facial twitches and bed-wetting and twice-picked scabs.

      Sorry to confess that I had to look up Simon Pegg — I have an odd fetish for red-headed men so I was most pleased.

      And thanks, Lynnette, for your kind support. For that I’ve asked the karma kittens to remove you from their blacklist.

  5. July 8, 2012 6:08 pm

    Angie, all is forgiven.

    • July 10, 2012 10:29 am

      I love you.

      • July 10, 2012 11:35 am

        That’s only because as children we were evil twins. Twenty years apart. Some things just take time.

      • July 10, 2012 11:39 am

        Think of all the splendid damage we could’ve caused together — if only we’d been born in the same time.

      • July 10, 2012 11:42 am

      • July 10, 2012 11:44 am


        Hey, that’s that one guy who laughed on the Michael Jackson Thriller video. Wow, it’s like we’re of the same generation.

      • July 10, 2012 11:51 am

        Vincent Price was evil in all generations. Of course some say the same thing about Michael.

      • July 10, 2012 11:54 am

        I still remember the most hilarious spoof of Vincent Price by Dan Aykroyd on a late ’70s SNL skit. He looked nothing like him and sounded nothing like him but yet everyone knew it was him.

      • July 10, 2012 11:57 am

        I may have to do that one on YouTube.

  6. July 8, 2012 6:15 pm

    That was a great video, but your interview was also hilarious (even on re-read!)

    • July 10, 2012 10:30 am

      Thanks, Nicki. It’s as if you put a Hello Kitty band-aid over my heart just now.

  7. July 8, 2012 6:52 pm

    I loved your interview with 1979 Angie. How did you dig up that gem of a video? Just priceless!! I swear he read your blog first and then went and dug up some old video he made for his YouTube production.

    All the good video of me as a kid (goofy teen, no less) is on BETA format. And I haven’t even digitized my 8mm tapes from 10 years ago, for Pete’s sake.

    • July 10, 2012 10:32 am

      What video did I dig up — Jeremiah’s? Oh, no digging up necessary. I practically tripped over it on the way to Starbucks last week.

      Only available on Beta? Tragic! Beta screwed up so many lives, Shannon. So many lives wasted.

      • July 10, 2012 11:32 am

        You mean, that video found you? Get OUT! I loved it. I still have yet /to make my husband watch it, but that’s coming. It’s a classic piece.

        My 16th birthday party ruckus may be lost forever. I danced to Michael Jackson, climbed out a window, said “Oh muh gawd” like, 150 times. Oh wait. Maybe it’s a good thing it’s in the Beta vault.

      • July 10, 2012 11:36 am

        I have no video to show for myself other than plays I was in. And they’re so grainy you can hardly make out I’m a person. It’s like I never existed until I bought my own video camera.

      • July 10, 2012 11:37 am

        Even though I’ve talked you, I still don’t think you really exist.

      • July 10, 2012 11:40 am

        I’m actually a cyborg manufactured by Hasbro to resemble Punky Brewster as a 30-something. I have no boobs, just as they wished for her way back then.

  8. July 8, 2012 8:09 pm

    Well, as you know, he’s funny and all. But your interviews killed me. And you already know I’m with Shannon…he must’ve read your blog at some point and took away your glory. I would have LOVED to do a little video of me as a kid but no one had VHS tape recorders. Well…my dad had one when I was in high school and it was the size of a VCR and he had to carry it on his back, while lugging around this giant heavy clunk camera. The only known footage of me as a kid was a grainy silent film on a reel. I think I was two and my brother threw a ball at my head and I cried. Yeah, real captivating film.

    • July 10, 2012 10:37 am

      Because you read my post today about all the many ideas that I never got credited for, you’ll know that this is no big deal to me. I’ve come to expect these sorts of things. I’ve surrendered to the fact that I am here on this earth to conceive of brilliant ideas that someone else will go on to take credit for. That okay; I wouldn’t do well with fame anyway. I’d probably end up on a reality show where I’d self-destruct on national television.

      I laughed like a loony bird in remembering those giant video cameras! Thanks for that.

      So you were hit in the head with a ball as a child — this explains so much, Dar-Dar.

      • July 10, 2012 10:45 am

        Yes! Dar-Dar! I want this name to catch on! Ranks right up there with Darlinksi.

        And you lost me after the word ‘since’….Maybe another good hit to the ol’ noggin will help clear out the cobwebs?

      • July 10, 2012 10:49 am

        I have since changed the word to “because” since (dammit) you now have me now worried that the word since doesn’t mean what I think it does.

      • July 10, 2012 10:59 am

        uh…and now I’m questioning my use of the word ‘because’ over on Paul’s blog just now. God, why does blogging have to be so stressful, Angie? It’s bad enough I have to constantly refer to just to get through someone’s post and/or check my spelling!

      • July 10, 2012 11:00 am

        I don’t type much of anything without consulting first consulting The Google.

      • July 10, 2012 11:15 am

        Often before I publish a post I double check The Google to make sure half of the words I used exist.

      • July 10, 2012 11:16 am

        Irregardless of that fact, I still think you’re one of the goodest writers I know.

      • July 13, 2012 6:33 pm

        Does this mean I need to call her Dar-Dar, instead of D-Woww, now?? Please people, make up your minds.

      • July 15, 2012 8:15 pm

        No, MJ — in fact, DarDar has now been copyrighted. Yep. I could sue you if you use it. Or if you use the word biff. Either one.

  9. July 8, 2012 10:59 pm

    When I was about 7 or 8, my parents took me to see a Disney film called the Cat From Outer Space. I wanted to see Battlestar Galactica, but no… I had to see a film about a talking cat with a gold fetish instead.

    The film sucked. Which is just as well, because no teacher saw it and that allowed me to rip it off for a homework assignment and get an A for it.

    Thanks Jake.

    • July 10, 2012 10:41 am

      I love that you felt the need to include a link so I could reference The Cat from Outer Space — as if I’ve never heard of the film. As if I didn’t grow up watching it nearly every week. As if Jake wasn’t practically an honorary member of my own personal menagerie. You got lucky, my friend. You don’t know it right now, but Jake saved you.

  10. July 8, 2012 11:19 pm

    You know what? Sue him. You’ll lose, but you’ll get tons of press and then you win! Sure, a lot of people will think you’re awful and delusional and you’ll cause stress for a man who’s done nothing to earn it… but do you want higher hit counts or not?

    • July 10, 2012 10:43 am

      I’m taking your advice, which you’ll see referenced in my blog post today. I don’t want you to take this wrong, but you may want to rethink your career as a writer/comedian/kick-boxer/word-inventor. Law school is calling your name. The downtrodden people need you.

      • July 10, 2012 11:00 am

        Here’s a fun factoid: for months after I met B-man I thought his name was Byron.

      • July 10, 2012 11:01 am

        Hahahahahahahaha! Oh my goodness. *Sigh.* That was fun.

      • July 10, 2012 11:06 am

        and I would sometimes call him Bryan.

      • July 10, 2012 11:08 am

        You sound like my father. He tends to address people by first names when he is only 55% sure of those names actually being their names. It makes for a lot of zany sitcom fodder.

      • July 10, 2012 11:19 am

        Ah, yes, your dad. What is he, in his late sixties and has a poor memory and bad eyesight? Yup, that sums me up, Abbie.

        By the way, who are you and why is it so cold in here?

      • July 10, 2012 11:21 am

        Exactly, Darlene. You nailed it there.

      • July 13, 2012 6:40 pm

        I want to smack-talk on yours and Dar-Dar/D-Woww’s comments below, but can’t. Gosh darn it. And I didn’t plagiarize.

      • July 15, 2012 8:18 pm

        I hate when that happens. I need to figure out how to add in more “reply” thingies.

  11. July 9, 2012 4:36 am

    Hi Angie,
    I’m thinking you and Jeremiah should collaborate on a project.

    • July 10, 2012 10:47 am

      I actually sent him an email requesting exactly that. If he doesn’t reply back, I’ll know it’s because he is feeling guilty for what he’s done.

  12. July 9, 2012 9:51 am

    Jeremiah is a hack. Now pull that dress down.

    I have GOT to talk to 1982 Angie. I’ve been trying to figure out how to successfully plagarize for ages.

    • July 10, 2012 10:54 am

      1982-Angie has written a book called How to Take Advantage of People: Maximizing Your Wealth of Candy, Toys and Recognition. She’s going on a book signing tour soon, and she has recently added stops in Newark, Paterson and Trenton. I hope you will stop in and see her.

      • July 10, 2012 11:35 am

        Oh great. The 3 murder capitals of NJ. Guard your toys and candy, Ang, but please, not with your life.

      • July 10, 2012 11:37 am

        1982-Angie has always gone to where people needed her the most. She has a big heart, that girl.

  13. July 9, 2012 10:10 am

    I may or may not have experience with that whole “throwing your dress over your head to pull up your tights” thing. Man, so much harder to deal with getting dressed in the morning now that I’m (supposedly) a grown up!

    • July 10, 2012 10:58 am

      I hate those damn limb tourniquets. Ugh, the taking them on and off is the worst. The grown-up corporate world can be so uncomfortable.

  14. July 9, 2012 4:35 pm

    See people don’t really read anymore. It’s all about the visuals. Your interview was brilliant. If you had set it to animation, it would’ve gotten a gazillion hits. This is our society. My son would rather look at Elmo’s face than mine, but I really can’t blame him for that.

    • July 10, 2012 10:59 am

      Thanks, Speaker7. And I suggest you take your gravatar, set it to animation and play it for your son. It still won’t compete with Elmo, but possibly it’d give dumb ol’ Dora a run for her money.

  15. July 9, 2012 6:25 pm

    1982 Angie really did bit you in butt! All that fame and glory – just gone. And I bet she still doesn’t feel bad…

    • July 10, 2012 11:03 am

      The girl has the conscience of OJ Simpson and the deceptiveness of Karl Rove. If she weren’t so near and dear to my heart, I’d likely turn her in to the authorities on suspicion of espionage.

  16. July 9, 2012 10:24 pm

    Flipping hilarious.

    • July 10, 2012 11:04 am

      Thanks, Kimberly — and thanks for subscribing. I’ll swing by your blog soon.

  17. July 10, 2012 9:42 pm

    Your interview with 1979-Angie was awesome! I imagined it as a screenplay for the most successful YouTube video of all time. Eat your heart out, Jeremiah!

    • July 12, 2012 10:29 am

      Thanks, Dana — you are the wind beneath my Rainbow Horny Wings.

  18. July 11, 2012 3:07 am

    I hope 1979-Angie grows up to be just like you!

    • July 12, 2012 10:28 am

      Aw thanks — she really is quite the chip off the ol’ block.

  19. July 14, 2012 12:15 am

    This happened in Nebraska? Say it ain’t so!!


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